The Artist and the Museum: a Clash of Disciplinary Cultures?

5 June 2013, 12:00 - 13:30

CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)

Dr. Alana Jelinek (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

The event is free to attend but registration is required. Please click on the link at the right hand side of the page to book your place.  A sandwich lunch will be provided.

Abstract

Artists have been working in various non-art museums in important and ground-breaking ways since 1992 at least, when Fred Wilson installed 'Mining the Museum' at the Maryland Historical Society Museum, Baltimore. For the past decade it has been de rigueur in Britain for museums to host contemporary art, from the Natural History Museum to the British Museum as well as a wide range of smaller institutions. This in order 1) to enliven their collections, 2) as institutional critique, 3) as part of an outreach programme and 4) as an exercise in branding. From the point of view of the contemporary artist, this proliferation looks like a good thing - more art and more opportunities for art - and various exultant conferences attest this idea (for example, Arts Council England & British Museum conference, 'Engaging the Artist's Voice: Museums, galleries and artists working in collaboration' 2012). This is also a good thing from the point of view of the government: today, to a considerable extent, museums' public funding comes through the Arts Council. This talk will address some of the many assumptions built into the new relationship between contemporary art and the museum including the unacknowledged disciplinary mores and orthodoxies in operation at the heart of this trend.

 

About Alana Jelinek

Alana Jelinek is currently Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts with the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge. She has been a practicing artist for 25 years and her doctoral thesis in History of Art and Fine Art practice was on Art as a Democratic Act: the interplay of content and context in contemporary art, London 2000-2006. This has been rethought and amended in her recent publication, This is Not Art: activism and other not-art, IB Tauris 2013. Her current research is on the relationship between collections, collectors and the collected.